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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

Editing Class 1: Edit Assisting

Here are my notes for this class; I found them very helpful as I will be edit assisting for a project this term! I am very excited.

The aim is to make things as streamlined as possible, easing the editor's job.
Ask for a shot log (which I believe are the script supervisor’s notes?) — I always find this necessary for the footage's organisation.
Ask for a document detailing the deliverables they want you to complete.

Bits and bobs

Bin organisation — columns
Bin display (there are several options)
Captcha 1: recording from the external device
Media tool: logging
• I prefer to make custom ones, but that depends on what my editor wants.

Markers
• Can use them for dialogue as well as regular use

Script Sync
• Good for documentaries — not used as much for dramas, but it can be helpful sometimes.
• TextEdit: this needs to be saved as a primary text document in the following format: timecode, following line, text, and so on. — If in a different language, you could do it like this on the text line: foreign language (foreign language translated in English).

Subtitles
• Sub-cap layer: you go through and just cut between points where dialogue is occurring and add the necessary information on each of those segments

A Documentary may use “Beat Sheets.”
• An example: What, Who, Why, Feeling — footage that fulfils sections such as what and why

Cutting to the Beat
Kieran thinks that editing to music isn’t great because you focus too much on that rather than the edit. (I am guilty of doing this for our trailer, but I suppose that’s different because that is a ubiquitous trope in trailers).

Extra notes on finalisation
• Companies such as Blazing Griffen will provide their finalisation requirements.
• When you get stuff in a doc as an assistant editor, thinking about naming things is a good idea. If you have the time, rename non-cam A and cam B stuff. Sometimes it helps to have the file's codec in the name but keep it consistent.
• You can use Media Shuttle to send DCPs to festivals.

Relation to audio mix-downs
PNM Error: When AVID doesn’t like an audio file, do an audio mix down to resolve this — if you make a mix down, you put it all into one stereo track. But you wouldn’t be sending this to the sound designers; this would be for, presumably, sync.

Editing Decision List — EDL: You can do this in AVID.
• List tool
• You select the layer you are discussing
• Output format: This depends on what they want. If it’s going into Excel, you must select the format that works in Excel.
• There are different sections of what you can pick.
• This is particularly helpful for graders needing to recreate DaVinci effects.
• You can use EDLs to make a music cue sheet as well

DIGITAL CINEMATIC PACKAGE
• Separate operating system, what projectors set up as
• Audio: all of your different tracks must be made into mapping in 3D space — standard surround sound is 7.1
• As assistant editor, all you need to do is ensure the audio channels are not lost.
• When you are outputting to a file, you need to ensure that any audio settings are set correctly — if everything has come in and the tracks and clip names of the tracks all match up.

OTHER TOPICS/Last minute discussion on CVs/Industry
• Mention additional skills such as photography and animation
• Have a contact page on your website
• Include the important/searchable details of your website on your website title
• Kieran personally likes online CVs
• Have your business cards made
• Going to festivals
• For actual jobs, don’t mention you have just graduated etc.
• Contact editors and ask to shadow them
• Don’t bother with a show-reel as an editor; instead, have bits and bobs of what you can do; my website was used as an example with my bits on animation.

RECOMMENDED DRIVES
• G-technology drives are not foolproof but work well. Because they are optical and they spin, they will eventually perish. So SSDs are much better in terms of long-lasting.
• WD Elements drive are cheaper alternatives that work ok
• LaCie drives are very hit or miss

Roles and Responsibilities

Edit prep
[ASK THE EDITOR, PERSONAL PREFERENCES ARE DIFFERENT]
• Requirements: drives and general checklist; FPS, resolution, how much footage, format?

Setting up the edit suite
• Cables, drives and computers (general organisation)
• Bit-transfer rate (mb/s — megabytes per second): always limited by the slowest connection.
• HDMI
• Ethernet
• Plugins (i.e. camera plugins for brand new cameras with a new format, transcripts for script syncing for films in uncommon languages, or audio plugins…)
• Making it comfortable (some assistant editors get brownie points for getting tea, coffee and biscuits for the editor)

Project set-up
• Delivery
• Majority footage:
• FPS (slow motion footage, for example, which would have a different frame rate — you would open up a different project with that frame rate, sync it and do what you want with it, and then you would move that bin into your main project — both AVID and Premiere should be able to recognise a 120fps file as slow motion footage — RC on file, source settings, change project file, clip fps 120, source fps 25).
• Res
• Bins: Organising by the camera (A and B), dates (reverse order), location…
• Logging: Character, Shot type

Responsibilities DURING the edit — depends on the editor.
In a documentary, you may get a chance to cut with stuff; in drama, it is less likely.

• KEEPING THINGS TIDY! Editors sometimes might not think about this as much, so it's up to you to keep things organised: Sequences, Bins.
• Watch out and anticipate any temps, VFX, Sound (and...)
• Music: queue sheets of when you want the music to come in, fade in/out, etc. Musicians don’t want a cut with the temp sound on; give them a queue sheet where you have arranged stuff. You need a two-pop if you are sending your cut to a composer.

In AVID, you can share bins, so organising works this way! In Premiere, it's not as great.

You should always get a direct agreement from the people’s materials you use — i.e. songs. I may need to look into this before getting the trailer done.

FINALISATION/ONLINE
Look into feature film workflow guides online, especially if they’re made by editors you know the work of. You are in charge of prepping all of this as assistant editor.
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